Domingo Kinnit – Ilocano’s way of breaking fast and abstinence from meat eating
Growing up in Ilocos in the 80’s and 90’s during Lent, Domingo Kinnit is Easter or the Sunday of Christ Resurrection is a looking forward day for us kids. Domingo Kinnit (Sunday Bite), the word “kinnit” is an Ilocano word for bite. Children are encouraged by adults to fast. Since adults fast, rarely would you find meat to bite during lent. For Ilocanos it is easy since vegetable dishes cooked in bagoong (inabraw or dinengdeng) and grilled fish (tinuno nga ikan) is a common fare.
So it is natural that during Easter Sunday families would butcher animals that were fattened for the occasion of Domingo Kinnit. Be it chicken or goat. Or when an affluent family feels blessed enough to share their blessings they have a pig butchered and shared to the rest of their relatives. Some practical families would also have the pig sold por kilo on an “utang” or loaned basis. And the rest of the meat or bony parts would be cooked in dishes like igado or adobo, shared as a common meal or served as “padigo” give-away food for the neighbors and close relatives.
But these days I observed that the practice of fasting during lent is not so much observed. The menfolks find it a time to drink together. Some of my Catholics friends seems to have their “kinnit” during the whole time of the lent. Well I pretty understand my Chinese friends who are Buddhists and does not observe the practice.
Having been in Saudi Arabia for two and half years and 10 months of living with a Muslim co-intern in Korea I had a chance of observing fasting during the Holy month of Ramadan. Fasting from sunrise to sunset, not even water to drink during those days. It is both for spiritual ( to be in spiritual solidarity with the Muslim brothers and sisters) and health reason, time to detoxify and lose weight. Indeed it is such a wonderful and joyful spiritual experience to break the fast at iftar. Although in Riyadh, I would only find men sharing meals together in public places after Salah, the women are together segrated from the men to break their fast.
Well for whatever reasons you made a fast or did not observe abstinence for spiritual or health reasons, have a joyous Domingo Kinnit, and for the vegetarians, they too can have a bite of their gluten or vegemeat dishes.
Happy Easter and grab that bite!
Recreating Medieval Lent
Agnes deLanvallei, Kathy Keeler
This article was published in Tournaments Illuminated, Winter 2003.